For those of us in the Body of Christ, Sr. Pam Goodwin is a home name and it should not be difficult to understand why I am sharing her testimony. I am trusting God that everyone else who may not be knowing her can appreciate God’s working with His people. Read on…
I am nobody special but because of Him I am a child of God.
I was basically raised on a farm in northwest Arkansas in a little town called Lowell with a population of 168. My first recollection of church was when we lived in Joplin, Missouri, for one year and attended Gospel Assembly Church with Bro. Edgar Roach as the pastor. I remember sleeping on the pews and waking up hearing the saints shouting and worshipping. We moved back to Arkansas and attended a small Community Church in Lowell. My father did not serve God. When I was about 6, there was a Vacation Bible School and I felt a conviction and raised my hand and accepted Jesus as my Savior with the faith of a child.
When I was around 10, Bro. Ralph Angelo Sr., from Tulsa began coming to Rogers and having services on Thursday night, Sunday and Sunday night. On Sunday nights, student ministers and their wives would drive over and conduct services – Bro. & Sis. Ralph Angelo, Jr., Bro. & Sis. Zumwalt, Bro. & Sis. Robert Goff, Bro. & Sis. Danny Goff, Bro. & Sis. Walls, Bro. & Sis. J.D. Wyzard, Bro. & Sis. Carl Begley and others.
When I was 12, we were at an annual convention in Houston which I will never forget. Bro. James Sowders was up preaching on repentance and salvation. I was hearing every word and felt such strong conviction that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. When the altar call was given, I began to cry. I didn’t receive the Holy Ghost but definitely had a born again conversion. I felt so clean inside – I didn’t want to do anything to hurt what I felt inside.
The church in Rogers closed so when we could, we went to Tulsa for weekends. The biggest change came in my life when I was 16. Bro. Angelo invited me to go to the Paducah youth meeting in June 10 – 1967. It ended up my cousins, Dennis Kincy and Fred Weber, also went.
At that youth meeting Bro. Lloyd Goodwin got up and preached on holiness and I loved the message. On the last day we sang “You’re All I Need, Lord” and the Spirit started moving in. I went down front and began seeking the Holy Ghost. Sis. June came from the platform and began praying with me, even though she had no idea who I was or what my name was. I didn’t know her either. But that day, Dennis, Fred and I all received the Holy Ghost.
That same summer, Bro. Angelo took the youth on a 10 day trip visiting churches from Tulsa to Norfolk, VA. I was blessed to go (along with Dennis and Fred) and we visited churches in Memphis, Russellville, Ashland, Kingsport, (church was in the basement while they were building the sanctuary), Charlotte, and Norfolk.
Since we didn’t have a church, I didn’t want my Holy Ghost to die so I would kneel by my bed and pray until I spoke in tongues. I wanted a church so bad.
We received tapes from Des Moines because of a friend who received them. In 1968 at the Houston meeting Bro. Goodwin and Sis. June introduced me to three sisters from Des Moines who were with them at the meeting – Carol Abshire, Marsha Stark, and Bonnie Thomas. I sat with them during the meeting. They started corresponding with me and invited me to Des Moines during Christmas break. God put it in my heart to do it. I felt like I was home in Des Moines. I left feeling it was God’s will to move to Des Moines.
I felt I had three choices: Tulsa (close to home), Houston (I had a scholarship and could attend college and live with my relatives) or Des Moines (no school, no family). There were decisions to be made and I wanted to be in God’s will. I prayed and fasted a lot – sometimes three days at a time. By summer I knew God wanted me to move to Des Moines. I was working and saving money and in October, 1969, moved to Des Moines.
I was blessed to spend almost a year in the little white church. That first year I really learned to grow on my knees, but through it all God held me.
Around September 1974, I started noticing Bro. Glenn Goodwin. We were married in November, 1976. God blessed us with three children – Joshua, Adina and Daniel. After the children came I was a stay-at- home mom. I also did home typing four or five hours a day. Before Daniel was a year old, my husband entered law school. This was a difficult time for me. He was working and going to school so he could not give much time to the family. We had three small children under the age of five. But God helped us through.
I worked in the church office starting in 1980 and became nursery supervisor in 1987 for five years. During my years in the church I have worked in every department. I have felt so blessed and happy to work for God. I was never one to be very active in services; I worshipped but seldom testified.
A few months before Bro. Lloyd Goodwin died, I felt something stirring within me to pray and do more. When he passed away, it was devastating. But something down inside said “God is in control.it’s going to be be all right.” My prayer life became more important. I had several experiences and dreams during the next year and I wanted to work harder than ever in the church doing anything I could to help.
In November, 1997, Bro. Vernon Goodwin, the pastor, passed away and my husband, Bro. Glenn Goodwin, became the pastor. Becoming a pastor’s wife without warning was quite a change! I couldn’t be like any previous pastor’s wives, I had to be myself. God impressed upon me to just love the people and care for them. I would wake up in the night with a Scripture or song in my heart. God is truly our help.
I have made a lot of mistakes but God has helped me so much. He healed me of motion sickness and migraines so I am able to travel with my husband. When there was a need for an organist, He helped me go to Drake University and learn to play the organ. So many times He has given me thoughts and words that I knew I didn’t have.
Last year I had to have a heart valve replacement and had open heart surgery. I had no fear or worry; I knew God was in control and it would be all right. The recovery is not easy but God carried me through. I give God all the praise and thanks – It’s a good life the Lord has given me!
You won’t have experiences with the Lord every day and there are times you will go through desert places when you aren’t feeling His presence, but He is still there. It is important to be faithful – God is a faithful God.
Who would have thought 47 years ago when I moved to Des Moines I would be the pastor’s wife? So what you are today may change and you don’t know what your future is in God but if you keep serving Him, whatever it is, it will be wonderful.
“He hath shown thee, O man, what is good. And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8